February is National Heart Health Month. Just like your biceps and quadriceps, the heart is a muscle too that needs to be worked and treated with love. Your heart may be in great shape, but are you feeding it the right foods to keep it healthy long term? Below are ten heart healthy foods that you can incorporate into your current diet to keep your heart healthy and pumping strong for your workouts! Five heart healthy recipes are provided that include most of these heart healthy food options. Try them out and let us know what you think! #swordrecipes
Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout. Omega 3’s help to lower triglyceride (another form of fat in the blood) levels. Aim for two servings a week of fatty fish.
A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts: They are a nutrition powerhouse and contain those healthy fats (monounsaturated fats) and they help us to absorb vitamins A,D, E, K. They also help to raise HDL (aka good) cholesterol. They are loaded with fiber and yes they are calorie dense, but they are NUTRIENT DENSE! A little goes a long way!
- Oatmeal: Oats contain beta-glucan fiber which helps to lower your LDL (aka bad) cholesterol. It is a heart-healthy nutrient powerhouse. Be sure to try overnight oats, oatmeal muffins, and homemade granola to keep a healthy heart.
- Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens to boost heart health. Our bodies absorb flaxseed when in the ground or milled form. These are great to add to oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, or any other baked good!
- Berries are loaded with heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Add in blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or raspberries in oatmeal, yogurt, or as a side.
- Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes, and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
Beans, beans good for your heart the more you eat them the more you...... help lower your LDL (aka bad) cholesterol! They are high in soluble fiber too. Don't forget to rinse them well if you buy canned.
Don’t forget about the orange veggies!! Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids which prevent buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries. Ever heard, “carrots are good for you eyes?” Why?... because carotenoids that are found in carrots they filter out UV light that can harm your eyes! So, eat up all those yummy orange vegetables!
- Bulk up on those green veggies. Everyone knows about getting in dark green vegetables to pack in the nutrient punch.
- Spinach: Packed with vitamins A and C, and folate. Cooked spinach is a little more nutrient dense because the heat decreases the oxalate content and releases the dietary calcium.
- Asparagus:- contains beta-carotene, folate and fiber, and only provide 25 calories per cup, or 5 calories per large spears.
- Broccoli: Rich in vitamin C. Good Source of Vitamin A, Potassium, and folate.
- Kale: Excellent source of vitamin A, C, and K. Good source of calcium, folate and potassium. Check out the Kale Chips recipes in the Winter Produce Section.
10. Dark Chocolate is rich in flavanols and may aid in lowering blood pressure. The dark chocolate acts as an antioxidant too! Just be sure that it’s at least 70 percent cocoa.
Heart Healthy Recipes
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange
Recipe: Ellie Krieger
Tags: Black Beans, Vegetarian, Orange, Heart Health
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- Kosher salt
- One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Three 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Greek yogurt, for serving
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, chile powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, black beans, honey, 1/2 teaspoon of the orange zest and 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the flavors meld and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide the chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest. Serve with yogurt.
The chili can be refrigerated overnight and reheated with more water if it's too thick.
Wholegrain Mixed Berry Pancakes (Gluten-free)
Recipe: Ellie Krieger
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing the pan
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups mixed berries, sliced if large
Pure maple syrup for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
Brush a large nonstick griddle or skillet with oiland preheat over medium heat. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in 1 cup of the berries
Ladle a scant ¼ cup of the batter per pancake onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancakes when they are golden brown on the bottom and beginning to dry around the edges, 1 ½ -2 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown, another 1 ½ minutes. Keep the pancakes warm in a 200°F oven as you finish cooking the remaining ones. Top with the remaining berries and serve with maple syrup.
Makes 12 pancakes; 4 servings
Salmon with Chickpea Ragu
Recipe: Ellie Krieger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 large zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas (preferably low-sodium), drained and rinsed
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into ribbons, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the carrots are firm-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring to incorporate completely. Add the chicken broth and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the liquid thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, add 1 cup of the basil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Cover to keep warm while you cook the salmon.
Preheat the broiler. Season the salmon with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Broil the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes per inch thickness, turning once. To serve, spoon 1-1/2 cups of the chickpea ragu into a shallow bowl or rimmed plate. Top with a fillet of salmon and garnish with ribbons of basil.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1-1/2 cups chickpea ragu and 1 salmon fillet
Calories 460; Total Fat 17 g (Sat Fat 2.5 g, Mono Fat 7 g, Poly Fat 5 g); Protein 46 g; Carb 30 g; Fiber 6 g; Cholesterol 95 mg; Sodium 550 mg
Excellent Source of: Copper, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin K
Good Source of: Calcium, Folate, Manganese, Zinc
Spiced Oatmeal Power Bowl
Tags: Flaxseed, Fiber, Omega 3’s, Oats, Breakfast
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- heaping 1/3 cup rolled old fashion oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon ground flax (optional, see note)
- For garnish: almonds, cinnamon, toasted coconut, nut butter, spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg)
- The night before: Grab a medium bowl and mash the banana until smooth. Now stir in the chia, oats, cinnamon, milk, ground flax seed and water until combined. Place in a glass mason jar, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning: Garnish with your desired toppings. Eat chilled or warm up on stove or in microwave! Get cozy!
NOTE: The ground flax is optional because it creates a bit of a strange texture (almost like a flax egg) in this oatmeal. So if you think you will, just leave it out or sprinkle some ground flax on top instead.
Additional Toppings: spices - a pinch of cinnamon, ground ginger, and allspice create my perfectly spiced bowl.
** Can prep and will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator
Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Dried Cherries & Pecans
Recipe By: Marcus Samuelsson
“Dried cherries and nuts give this healthy sweet potato side dish recipe a traditional feel. The addition of some bacon for lushness and Aleppo pepper for a little bite really kicks things up.”
2 pounds small sweet potatoes, peeled if desired
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (see Tip)
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons dried sour cherries
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
Halve sweet potatoes lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Heat 1 tablespoon each oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the sweet potatoes and cook, turning once, until starting to brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes total. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, turning frequently, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl; cover to keep warm. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining butter and sweet potatoes. Transfer to the bowl and keep covered.
Meanwhile, combine honey, tamari, Aleppo pepper, turmeric, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and bacon to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the bacon is crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the honey mixture and simmer, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
Return the sweet potatoes to the pan along with cherries and nuts; toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tips: Named for the Syrian town, crushed dried Aleppo pepper has a moderate heat with a hint of fruity tang. Use it as you would other crushed chile peppers. Find it in specialty markets and from online spice purveyors.